Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
WESTERN DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff,

v.

00-08203-AHM

YODER SHRADER MANAGEMENT
COMPANY, INC.; ERVIN E. YODER,
JR., individually and as Trustee
of the ERVIN E. YODER, JR.
FAMILY TRUST; the KEVIN ALLEN
YODER TRUST, the ERIC E. YODER
TRUST, the LARK FOLSOM NORMAN
TRUST, the DIANE ELANORE YODER
TRUST, the DEBORAH JUNE
WILMSHURST TRUST, and the
REBECCA LYNN MATICS TRUST;
FLORINE N. YODER, individually
and as Trustee of the KEVIN
ALLEN YODER TRUST, the ERIC E.
YODER TRUST, the LARK FOLSOM
NORMAN TRUST, the DIANE ELANORE
YODER TRUST, the DEBORAH JUNE
WILMSHURST TRUST, and the
REBECCA LYNN MATICS TRUST;
SHRADER INVESTMENTS, a
California general partnership;
SMITH & SONS PROPERTIES, a
California general partnership;
ALEXANDER M. POWER, individually
and as Trustee of the Alexander
M. Power Retained Income Trust;
HELOISE B. POWER, individually
and as Trustee of the HBT Trust;
EL DORADO PROPERTIES, a
California general partnership;
FULLERTON PINES APARTMENTS, a
California general partnership;
and YORBA LINDA APARTMENTS-II, a
California general partnership,
SUZANNE BERMINGHAM, WILLIAM
RICHARDSON, LETHA RICHARDSON,
SHARON DEERING, HAROLD DEERING,
PAT EKELUND, BONNIE RITCHIE,
CHERYL LEINSEFELDER, ANN KRAMER,
EVA WHETSTONE, MARGO SANCHEZ,
JOHN SANCHEZ AND KATHRYN
WALTERS,
Defendants.

__________________________________

CONSENT ORDER

The Fair Housing Council of Orange County (FHCOC) and the United States filed complaints on April 21, 2000, and May ____, 2000, respectively. Both actions were brought pursuant to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq. ("the Act"); FHCOC also asserted state law claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Government Code §§12955 et seq., and the California Business and Professions Code, §§17200 et seq. and a common law cause of action for negligence. Both complaints allege that the defendants have been engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against persons on the basis of race or color, national origin, and familial status in violation of the Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604, in the rental of dwellings at the following apartments they own and/or manage:

  1. Nutwood East Apartments - 248 units; 2456 East Nutwood Avenue, Fullerton, CA;
  2. Elmwood Apartments - 50 units; 8602 Western Avenue, Buena Park, CA;
  3. Idylwood Apartments - 84 units; 1800 Brea Boulevard, Fullerton, CA;
  4. Kashmir Apartments - 25 units; 210 West Union Avenue, Fullerton, CA;
  5. El Dorado Apartments - 257 units; 3060 Madison Avenue, Fullerton, CA;
  6. Pines Apartments - 229 units; 3340 Topaz Lane, Fullerton, CA;
  7. Sturbridge Village Apartments - 196 units; 3020 Yorba Linda Boulevard, Fullerton, CA; and
  8. Moonraker Apartments - 90 units; 2901 East Nutwood Avenue, Fullerton, CA.

The defendants deny that they have taken any actions which violate the Act or any other state or federal law. The parties desire to avoid the cost and uncertainty of protracted litigation and agree that this dispute should be resolved without the necessity of an evidentiary hearing or further court action. Therefore, the parties have agreed to the entry of this Consent Order, as indicated by the signatures appearing below. The defendants, FHCOC, and the United States fully anticipate that compliance with the provisions of this order will ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act.

Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:

  1. Injunctive Relief

  1. All defendants, their agents, employees, successors, and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them, are enjoined, with respect to the rental of dwellings at the Apartments(1) and at any other locations at which any of the defendants engages in the rental of dwellings, from:
    1. Refusing to rent a dwelling unit, refusing to negotiate for the rental of a dwelling unit, refusing or failing to provide or offer information about a dwelling unit, or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling unit to any person because of race, color, national origin, or familial status;
    2. Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of rental of a dwelling unit, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, national origin, or familial status;
    3. Making, printing, publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the rental of a dwelling unit that states any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or familial status, or an intention to make such a preference, limitation, or discrimination;
    4. Representing to any person because of race, color, national origin, or familial status that any dwelling unit is not available for inspection or rental when such dwelling unit is, in fact, so available; and
    5. Engaging in any other discriminatory housing practice prohibited by 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq.

  2. The provisions of Paragraph 1 shall apply to all residential rental properties in which the defendants have an ownership or management interest, whether individual or jointly with others.

  3. The following provisions of this Order shall apply only to the defendant, Yoder-Shrader Management Co., or any other person or entity to whom defendants delegate responsibility relating to the rental of apartments identified at page 3 of this Order, their employees or agents, including but not limited to all residential property managers, present and future.
  1. Nondiscriminatory Rental Policies and Procedures

  1. Within 45 days after the date of entry of this Order, the defendants shall adopt objective, non-discriminatory standards and procedures for the processing of applications, the establishment of waiting lists (if used), and the approval of applicants for the rental of available dwelling units and/or positions on waiting lists (if used) at each of their rental properties. These standards and procedures shall be applied to all applicants and prospective applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status. A copy of these standards and procedures shall promptly be provided to counsel for the United States(2) and the FHCOC. These standards and procedures shall be implemented within fifteen days after their receipt by the United States and the FHCOC, unless either objects to the proposed change in writing within those fifteen days. In that event, the standards and procedures shall not be implemented until the parties have resolved their dispute or, in the event they are unable to resolve it, the Court has resolved it. Upon their implementation, the defendants and all their rental employees and agents shall adhere to these written policies and procedures.

  2. A summary of these standards and procedures shall be posted in the rental office at each apartment complex and in any office where there is rental activity and/or personal contact with applicants for rental units, and a copy of the summary of these standards and procedures shall be provided to current tenants and to any applicant for a rental unit at the Apartments. This summary shall include the telephone numbers of the Yoder-Shrader headquarters office and HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in the event an individual has a complaint. For the duration of this Order, these rental standards and procedures may be modified only upon thirty (30) days prior written notice to counsel for the United States and the FHCOC. In the event that the United States or the FHCOC objects to the proposed change in writing within twenty days of receipt of notice, the change shall not be implemented until the parties have resolved their dispute or, in the event they are unable to resolve it, the Court has resolved it.

  3. The defendants shall, with respect to dwellings rented at the Apartments:
    1. Maintain an accurate list of all dwellings known or expected to be available for rental, including for each unit the apartment number, number of bedrooms, monthly rent, and deposit requirements;
    2. Inform prospective applicants who inquire about renting of all available units of the type requested, and, if no unit is available, inform the prospective applicant about the availability of a waiting list (if one is maintained);
    3. Permit all prospective applicants the opportunity to complete a written rental application and/or to be placed on a waiting list, if one is used, which shall be maintained pursuant to subparagraph (d) below; and

    4. If defendants so choose for any one or all of their apartments, to maintain a waiting list, they will submit the proposed policies and procedures promptly to the FHCOC. These policies and procedures shall be implemented within 15 days after their receipt by the FHCOC, unless it objects to the proposed policies and procedures in writing within those 15 days.

  4. Within thirty days of the date of entry of this Order, the defendants shall prepare a written company-wide nondiscrimination policy, which shall promptly be submitted to counsel for the FHCOC and the United States for their review and approval. Within sixty days after the parties have reached agreement on the terms of such policy, the defendants shall provide a copy of this policy to all their tenants and to all applicant referral services, including local college housing offices, whose services they use or which to their knowledge refer applicants to them. The defendants shall also then provide a copy of this policy to all of its employees or agents with responsibility relating to the rental of dwellings and secure their signatures acknowledging its receipt and agreeing to abide by it.
  1. Mandatory Education and Training

  1. Within sixty days of the entry of this order, the defendants, as well as their managers, rental agents, and all other persons with any responsibility with respect to the rental of apartments shall attend a program of educational training concerning their responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws, regulations, or ordinances. The defendants have agreed with the FHCOC that the FHCOC shall provide this training. The cost of this training shall be borne by the defendants, and is included in the monetary payment set out below in Paragraph 18. All persons attending this program shall have their attendance certified in writing by the person conducting the educational program.

  2. Within 30 days after the date of entry of this Consent Order, the defendants shall furnish to their employees and agents with housing rental responsibilities a written summary of this Consent Order informing them of their duties and responsibilities under this Order. Defendants shall provide FHCOC with verification that this has occurred and that defendants have secured a signed statement of Attachment A from each such employee and agent.

  3. For the duration of this Order, each new employee or agent of the defendants with housing rental responsibilities at any of the defendants, complexes shall be given a summary of this Consent Order and sign the statement appearing at Attachment A within ten (10) days after the date he or she commences an employment or agency relationship with any of the defendants.

  4. In order to further assure the development of a good working relationship between the FHCOC and the defendants in furtherance of their mutual goal of furthering fair housing, for the duration of this Order, all Yoder-Shrader employees, present and future, with any responsibility relating to the rental of apartments shall attend on an annual basis, a half-day fair housing management training course provided by the FHCOC. The costs of this training shall be borne by the defendants, with the costs included in the monetary payment set out below in Paragraph 18.
  1. Notification to Public of Nondiscriminatory Policies

  1. Within ten (10) days after the date of entry of this Consent Order, the defendants shall take the following steps to notify the public of their nondiscriminatory policies:
    1. Post and prominently display in the rental office at each of defendants, complexes, and in any office where there is rental activity and/or personal contact with applicants for units in defendants, complexes, a Fair Housing Poster which also includes the telephone number and address of the FHCOC;
    2. Include the words "Equal Housing Opportunity" or the fair housing logo in all advertising conducted by defendants for any of defendants, complexes in newspapers, telephone directories, or other media, and on all banners, signs, pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature. The words or logo should be prominently placed and easily legible. In addition, all advertising placed by defendants subsequent to the date of entry of this Order shall conform to the provisions of the applicable HUD advertising guidelines, formerly codified at 24 C.F.R. Part 109; and
    3. Include the following phrase in the standard rental application and rental agreement used for each of defendants' complexes in bold print equal in size to the text of the document:

      We are an equal housing opportunity provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap, familial status (having children under age 18), source of income, marital status, sexual preference, ancestry, or any arbitrary reason based on any personal characteristic.

  1. Record Keeping and Monitoring

  1. With respect to the rental of dwellings at each of the Apartments, the defendants shall, for the duration of this Order:
    1. Maintain an Availability List which includes the address or unit number of each dwelling known to be available for rental, the number of bedrooms in each such unit, the monthly rent for each such unit, the required deposit amount to move into the unit, the date the defendants were first informed it would be available for rental, and the first date it would be available for rental or occupancy by a new tenant.
    2. Maintain guest cards of all people who inquire in person about the availability of rental units, providing for the date of inquiry, and their name, current address, telephone number.
    3. Maintain all Waiting Lists (if used) prepared pursuant to Paragraph 6d above.

  2. Six (6) months after the date of entry of this Order, and six (6) months thereafter for a period of five (5) years, the defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States and the FHCOC a report covering the preceding six months containing the following information:
    1. Certification of all signed statements secured pursuant to Paragraphs 9 and 10 of this order;
    2. Copies of the Availability Lists, Guest Cards, Rental Applications, and Waiting Lists (if used) maintained pursuant to Paragraph 6 of this Order;
    3. Representative copies of any advertisements published in a newspaper or any other medium during the reporting period, together with a complete listing of the dates each advertisement was published; and

    The first report submitted pursuant to this Paragraph shall also include:

    1. Written verification that the defendant and any other person required to do so by the terms of this order have attended the education program mandated by Paragraph 8 of this Order.

  3. Until final dismissal of this action with prejudice, the defendants shall preserve all records which are the source of, contain, or relate to any of the information pertinent to their obligations under this Order, including all rental applications and rental agreements for dwellings at all of defendants' complexes. Upon reasonable notice to counsel for defendants, representatives of the United States and/or the FHCOC shall be permitted to inspect and copy all such records of the defendants at any and all reasonable times.
  1. Compliance Testing

  1. The United States and the FHCOC may take steps to monitor the defendants, compliance with this Order including, but not limited to, conducting fair housing tests at any properties owned or managed in whole or in part by any of the defendants to determine whether the defendants are violating any part of this order.

  2. The defendants shall enter into a contract with the FHCOC for a program of compliance testing designed both to monitor compliance with this Order and to deter and detect any future acts of unlawful discrimination at the Apartments. The costs of this future compliance testing are included in the monetary payment set forth in Paragraph 18 below. The United States or the FHCOC may use the test results for any lawful purpose, including the initiation of further judicial proceedings, but only after compliance with the consultation provisions of Paragraph 26 or the mediation provisions of Paragraph 24.
  1. Monetary Compensation

  1. The defendants shall pay the Fair Housing Council of Orange County the sum of $151,000 in compensation for its economic losses, including the diversion of its resources and the frustration of its corporate purposes, in connection with the testing and other investigative efforts it undertook to investigate the defendants' housing practices and in compensation for the future compliance monitoring efforts described above. This amount also includes compensation for the FHCOC's attorneys, fees and costs. This amount shall be paid by certified check, made payable to Brancart & Brancart Trust Account, within 15 business days of the entry of this Order.

  2. The defendants agree to undertake affirmative, nondiscriminatory efforts designed to increase the number of persons applying for residence at their apartments from those groups against whom they are alleged to have discriminated. To effectuate this goal, the defendants agree that, for the duration of this Order, when the defendants have at least one vacancy in a given month at any of their apartment developments, they shall advertise a vacancy at least once in the Sunday edition of the Orange County Register and in La Opinion.

  3. In order to enhance the attractiveness of the Apartments to families with children, the defendants have committed to spend a minimum total of $65,000 to install children's play equipment at the following complexes: Nutwood East, Pines, El Dorado, Idylwood, Sturbridge Village, and Moonraker.

  4. Families with children living in the Apartments at the time of the entry of this Order may, for a period of six months thereafter, place their names on a list to move to a different apartment within the complex. The defendants agree to reimburse such tenants who move into an available apartment for their actual moving costs up to $250 upon completion of the move. Such families will be offered the opportunity to make such a move when an apartment is available for a period of three years from the date of entry of this Order.
  1. Civil Penalty

  1. The defendants shall pay a civil penalty of $10,000 to the United States, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(C), to vindicate the public interest. This payment shall be made by certified check payable to the United States Treasury within fifteen business days of the date of entry of this Order.
Mediation

  1. Within thirty days from the date of entry of this Order, the defendants shall establish policies and procedures that provide for mediation between management and tenants or between complex managers and assistant managers and Yoder-Shrader that involve possible housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status. Yoder-Shrader shall fund the costs of such mediation. Such mediation shall be provided by a county-affiliated agency that provides such services under the Orange County Dispute Resolution Program Act. Defendants shall promptly notify FHCOC in writing of any request for mediation and the basis of that request. The defendants shall notify all tenants and employees of the mediation program and procedure within thirty days of the date of entry of this Order and shall also notify future tenants of this program.

  2. FHCOC agrees to submit any and all future disputes, claims, or complaints it may have involving alleged violations of fair housing laws arising from any complexes owned or managed by the defendants to mediation prior to the filing of any complaint on its own behalf with a state or federal agency or court.
  1. Duration of Consent Order

  1. This action is dismissed without prejudice. At any time after five (5) years from the date of entry of this Order, the defendants may move for dismissal of this case. Dismissal shall be granted unless, no later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the defendants, motion, the United States or the FHCOC serves a written objection. If an objection is filed, the Court shall hold a hearing on the dismissal motion, and the burden shall be on the United States or the FHCOC to demonstrate why this Order should not be terminated. If the United States or the FHCOC fails to meet its burden, or if no objection is timely filed (except for good cause shown), this Order shall terminate forthwith and this case shall be dismissed with prejudice.
  1. Remedies for Non-Performance

  1. The parties to this Consent Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. However, in the event of a failure by the defendants or FHCOC, whether willful or otherwise, to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Consent Order or otherwise to act in violation of any provision thereof, any of the parties may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, and an award of any damages, costs, and attorneys' fees which may have been occasioned by the defendants' or FHCOC's violation or failure to perform. The Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this Order upon a motion to reopen the case for such purpose.
  1. Miscellaneous

  1. To ensure that any costs associated with the defendants' compliance with this Order are not passed on to tenants residing at the Apartments for their having been deprived of equal housing opportunities, Yoder-Shrader agrees to continue its rental increase policy of "trying to stay about ten percent under prevailing rental rates" in the area of the Apartments.

  2. In the event either the FHCOC or the defendants decide to issue a press release in connection with the submission or entry of this Consent Order, they have agreed that it shall be a joint press release based on this Consent Order.

  3. Any time limits for performance imposed by this Consent Order may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.

  4. Each party to these consolidated actions shall, except to the extent specifically provided to the contrary, bear its own costs.

SO ORDERED this ______________ day of ________________, 2000.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF ORANGE COUNTY, INC.
D. ELIZABETH PIERSON

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BURTIS M. DOUGHERTY, Attorney
Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

YODER-SHRADER MANAGEMENT CO., INC.
ERVIN E. YODER, President
VJ SHRADER, Vice President

ERVIN E. YODER, JR., individually and as Trustee of the Ervin E. Yoder, Jr. Family Trust
ERVIN E. YODER, JR.

FLORINE N. YODER, individually and as Trustee of the Kevin Allen Yoder Trust, Eric E. Yoder Trust, Diane Elanore Yoder Trust, Deborah June Wilmshursut and Rebecca Lynn Matics Trust
FLORINE N. YODER

SHRADER INVESTMENT, a California General Partnership
RANDEE YODER, a General Partner

WALKER SMITH, III, individually and as General Partner of Smith & Sons Properties, a California General Partnership
WALKER SMITH, III

ALEXANDER M. POWER, individually and as Trustee of the Alexander M. Power Retained Income Trust.
ALEXANDER M. POWER

HELOISE B. POWER, individually and as Trustee of the HBT Trust
HELOISE B. POWER

EL DORADO PROPERTIES, a California General Partnership
ERVIN E. YODER, General Partner

FULLERTON PINES APARTMENTS-II, a California General Partnership
ERVIN E. YODER, General Partner

YORBA LINDA APARTMENTS-II, a California General Partnership
ERVIN E. YODER, General Partner

SMITH ESTATE TRUST
WALKER SMITH, JR., individually and as Trustee of the Smith Estate Trust.

SHRADER ENTERPRISES
VJ SHRADER, General Partner

PBO, a GENERAL PARTNERSHIP
REED BAUMAN, General Partner

PINES II, a GENERAL PARTNERSHIP
ERVIN YODER, General Partner

LYL COMPANY, a GENERAL PARTNERSHIP
REED BAUMAN, General Partner

YBS, a GENERAL PARTNERSHIP
ERVIN YODER, General Partner

SUZANNE BERMINGHAM

WILLIAM RICHARDSON

LETHA RICHARDSON

SHARON DEERING

HAROLD DEERING

PAT EKELUND

BONNIE RITCHIE

CHERYL LEISENFELDER

ANN KRAMER

EVA WHETSTONE

MARGO SANCHEZ

JOHN SANCHEZ

KATHRYN WALTERS

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
BURTIS DOUGHERTY
Attorneys for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

BRANCART & BRANCART
CHRISTOPHER BRANCART
Attorneys for FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF ORANGE COUNTY

JEFFER MANGELES, BUTLER & MARMARO LLP
MARTA M. FERNANDEZ
Attorney for YODER-SHRADER MANAGEMENT CO., INC.


1. For the purposes of this Order, "dwelling" shall have the same meaning as it does in the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3602(b). "The Apartments" shall refer to the apartments listed above at p.3.

2. Any Material sent to counsel for the United States shall be addressed as follows: Chief, Housing & Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O.Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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